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Pandemic Brings Huge Spike In Demand For Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

Food safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic, along with “changing consumer preferences,” are “contributing to a shift toward plant-based food options,” reports CNBC, citing alternative meat makers in Asia.

The New York Times shares some specifics, including statistics from Nielsen showing that from April 12 to May 9, demand for uncooked vegan products jumped 53%.
To meet the demand, Impossible Foods has been hiring more workers, increasing pay and adding more shifts. Beyond Meat reported record sales in the first quarter of this year… [F]or the first time, plant-based meats are often competitive in price with ground beef, and sometimes easier to find, as fears of meat shortages prompt bulk buying… Impossible Foods, which before the pandemic sold more of its products in restaurants than in grocery stores, has expanded its retail footprint. Chief executive, Pat Brown said his products are now sold in more than 3,000 stores, up from fewer than 200 in January.

In the first quarter of the year, Beyond Meat, whose stock is publicly traded, reported net revenue of $97.1 million, an increase of 141 percent over last year. Its products are now in 25,000 grocery stores nationwide, and the company recently expanded into China. “We were saying that by 2030, Beyond Meat could have a $1 billion in sales,” said Alexia Howard, the senior research analyst of U.S. food at Bernstein, an equity research group. “Now, we’re saying by the end of 2020, which is only 18 months later.”

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